Personality Traits and Dress: Narcissistic Style

I'm excited to be presenting my new five part mini-series, "Personality Traits and Dress" with the help of the oh-so-talented illustrator, Ann Shen. I got the idea for this series several months ago when I was asked by the Magnolia Project to give a workshop on fashion psychology. That's where we use psychological theories to help explain our wardrobe behaviors. Needless to say, I've been reading a lot of books about fashion and psychology, and one that I love is You are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About you, written by clinical psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner. It features case studies of clients whose clothing reveals deeper-seated emotional issues. While the book doesn’t talk about personality traits per se, I administer and analyze personality assessments for a living, and thought it would be cool to highlight the connection between our personality and our clothing. Let's be clear that personality traits are not to be confused with full-blown personality disorders. A PD is actually a serious illness that prevents individuals from having healthy relationships and warrants clinical intervention. But we all have personality traits or features that affect how we function in our daily lives. Some of us may be may be very orderly and disciplined, others of us may be very emotional and outgoing, and still others may be more submissive and reliant on others. If you’re worried about having a personality disorder, it may be helpful to know that people with full-blown personality disorders typically do not acknowledge having one. In fact, they usually perceive everyone else as having the problem, hence the term personality disorder (ha!). Keep in mind that this series is just a fun exercise and not based upon hard core research. But who knows, it may inspire me to do some research on the topic. There are quite a few personality styles out there, so each series I'll be featuring a different one, starting with narcissistic style.


Most of us have heard the term narcissist thrown about, and it typically refers to a seemingly confident, egotistical person who has a tendency to be self-involved at the expense of others. If we're honest, most of us can think of a time when we’ve been more self-involved than we should have been, confident or not. But wearing an air of confidence in the form of clothing may not be such a bad thing, unless of course you stick your nose up while wearing it. If you have a narcissistic style, perhaps you’re inclined to take fashion risks with ease, have no problem wearing a t-shirt and jeans because you “got it like that,” and/or will wear nothing less than your go-to designer duds because your wardrobe must reflect quality. Either way, your outfits always read, “I’m special. Go ahead, admire me." Sound familiar?  Tell us about it in the comments. ♥